There are two sides to being pregnant. There is the beautiful wonderful blessing side. The second side – it sucks.— Mary Beth Whiteheadfrom Daily-Quotes
It was the first time.
There’s a point in life when things start happening, almost like clockwork. It’s part of becoming an adult.
Friends start getting married and settling down. And, now my best friend was about to have her first baby. She was my first friend to have her first baby.
Looking back, it’s kind of surprizing to realize how much we didn’t know. Pregnancy for her was something she wanted – she’d always a small family. And the pregnancy was pretty much ‘normal.’ She took walks, slept, and embraced ‘eating for two’ in the last few weeks.
She had a daughter. I snuck up the backstairs of the red-bricked hospital to visit my friend, deliver her a treat and romance novel, and cuddle the baby (just a few hours old) before heading to my evening job as a bartender.
Most babies come out looking a little red, a little squished and even with a slightly confused look. She arrived beautifully. Over the years, I’ve never seen another baby quite as perfect. Cute and cuddly, yes! But not this. And so, we thought that was how life happened. Happy family. Happy pregnancy. Happy life.
But the interesting point happened with her third child a few years later.
It’s seems incredible now…
During her third pregnancy (and even before it happened) she and her partner decided on how many kids they wanted to raise. Three was the answer. It wasn’t spontaneous or impulsive. It was planning. They were thoughtful. And they were confident in their decision.
In the last trimester of her third pregnancy, she asked her trusted physician (of many years) to arrange to have her tubes tied after the baby was born. She didn’t want more children, nor did she want to keep swallowing birth control pills.
The physician refused.
Yes. You read that properly.
The physician refused. Why? Because he believed she didn’t know what she was asking for, and should one of her children die – well, she might want to have another. Yup. That was the argument he used to deny her the surgery.
Seriously. Have you had this kind of conversation, too?
As you can imagine, she argued her point. Unbelievably to us now, her physician viewed her argument as being ‘too emotional because she was pregnant.’ Hard to believe? It’s real. She was dumbfounded. Her partner angry. As for me, I was surprized and confused. What she wanted was legal. It was her body. It was her right. Yet, her doctor refused.
What did she do?
She found a new physician and had her tubes tied (a tubal ligation) without any more arguing or fuss.
That was then, and this is now. Have things changed?
Pregnancy is a private event, yet society plays a role.
And everyone has an opinion and offers advice.
There are cultural reasons and rituals influencing women. Other times, it’s pressure to conform to the expectations of others. Like your sister asking when she will be an aunt, or your dad wondering when he’ll be a grandpa. Sometimes it feels like social pressure (the ‘all my friends are having babies; I want one too’ feeling).
Sometimes becoming pregnant seems impossible. Other times it happens unexpectedly.
Pregnancy can result from a healthy loving relationship or from acts of violence or intimidation.
Not every woman is as fortunate as my friend was in her health, relationship and security. Now, she’s a grandma and so another cycle, another puzzle piece, falls into place.
If you take a glimpse online, pregnancy is promoted as being everything from the reason why women exist to miracles to fulfillment. You may agree with that or not – it’s up to you.
However, pregnancy can be complicated and not every pregnancy is ‘easy.’ Not every teen or woman shares the same world view of women’s role in society. Not every mother will immediately ‘love her baby,’ not every woman will be delighted as we have learned over the decades as we understand the reality of post-partum depression.
Many women live in unsafe situations, their health and wellbeing may be compromised, or they feel like they don’t fit in because they didn’t ever want to be pregnant. Even today, many teens find themselves pregnant sometimes without really understanding why.
Every teen and every woman will experience pregnancy differently. It’s not just about the physical – it includes emotions, thoughts, beliefs, outcomes. It changes lives.
In this blog, we want to hear from you. Why?
Because other pregnant teens and women want to know they aren’t alone in their feelings, dreams, desires for the life they are hoping for as a parent. And, there are many who are giving up a child or terminating a pregnancy. Everyone can benefit from support and information.
This is real life.
Regardless of how the pregnancy ends, it changes the teen/woman’s life forever. Please join our new community and share your thoughts, worries, fears, dreams, happy moments with us.
We need you. Welcome.